Franco Morbidelli means business with DutchGP pole
Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took another impressive pole position as the 2017 points leader bounced back from a more difficult Catalan GP, heading key rival Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) by a tenth after conditions dried out for the intermediate class field to make a charge on slicks. Fellow title hopeful Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) completes the front row.
The session began with some doubt about tyre choice as the track conditions continued to improve after earlier rain, with slicks then proving the correct choice. Track action was interrupted soon after by a crash for Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) that brought out the Red Flag. The Italian is conscious and stable, and now set to stay in hospital for observation.
With the track then having had more time to dry, the times tumbled upon the restart. One rider to see a huge leap forward in the drier conditions was Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who heads up the second row, ahead of a scintillating final lap push for top rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40). Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) completes Row 2, keeping his positive pace at the Dutch GP rolling.
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) staged the best comeback of the session as the veteran Italian crashed – twice, found himself almost last on the grid and then swept back to take seventh. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) suffered some slightly different fortunes as he crashed at Turn 9 after setting two red sectors – rider ok – and just got out for one more lap at the end of the session, unable to move up and therefore starting P8. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) locked out the top ten.
Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) was just pushed down into P11 by only 0.021, ahead of Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia), QP crasher Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46), Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) and Simone Corsi (Speed Up).
Moto2™ have a different race time on Sunday – 14:30 (GMT +2).
Moto2 Qualifying Results
1 – Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) 1’38.468
2 -Takaaki Nakagami (JPN – Kalex) + 0.101
3 – Thomas Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) + 0.115